Sunday, March 2, 2014

Thanksgiving letter from Pres and Sis Packard

December 2, 2013

Dear Elders and Sisters,

We hope all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. As we counted our blessings this past weekend, we continually returned to how grateful we are to be serving with you in the work of the Lord. We feel so close to you and pray for you throughout each day. It is a great blessing to seek Zion with you. As we contemplated these blessings, we went back and re-read the report we sent to Elder and Sister Nielsen before they came to visit. In that report, we wrote a section on Zion that we have copied below for you.


We believe that within the mission itself, we can actually become a Zion community. We are working to achieve a community of missionaries who have their hearts bound not only by their love for each other, but also by their love for God. It is a tremendously ambitious spiritual aspiration, but we are very serious about it. Our goal to achieve Zion has motivated our missionaries to consecrate more of themselves than they ever thought possible. As Chapter 6 of Preach My Gospel explains, who we are is just as vital as what we do. To achieve Zion, we try to develop all the Christlike attributes described in Preach My Gospel. We also seek to be exactly obedient. However, our goal of achieving Zion is more than an effort to achieve a group of righteous individual missionaries; Zion is a collective achievement. Thus, we shun contention for the poison that it is. We share our spiritual and proselyting goals with each other and we account to each other regularly. We pray for each other, we serve each other, and we collaborate with each other on investigators and member work. We seek to eliminate competition between missionaries and foster an environment where one missionary’s success is everyone’s success. We also focus a lot on effective planning and communication. Zone leaders, sister training leaders and district pray for their missionaries by name. They help missionaries who are struggling, but they do not criticize them publicly or privately.

Perhaps we can try to capture the culture of the mission by sharing the experience of a new missionary who had been teased as a child and who struggled with feelings of inadequacy. After expressing his insecurities to his trainer, the trainer explained: “Elder, you are not in elementary school anymore. You are not in middle school, and you are not in high school. You are in the MBM now, where every missionary belongs and where every missionary is needed. Here, it doesn't matter who you used to be. You are part of our family now, and we are building Zion.” This new elder never looked back, and has discovered talents and abilities he never dreamed he had. He is now one of our stalwart leaders in the mission."

During this holiday season, let's focus on building Zion together!


President and Sister Packard
This picture was taken when Karee arrived in Boston about a yr ago.This is Pres. Packard and Sis Packard, her mission president and his wife

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